Remember Your Worth. Remember the Sparrow. And Don’t Fear the Cat. (Monday Music)

Remember your worth. Remember the Sparrow. And don't fear the cat. Your Father cares for you. Watch the music video of Jason Gray's song "Sparrow" via www.jeanwilund.comDream On, Abi

I laughed at my cat Abi as I sat by the window. He was stalking a hummingbird in the garden.

I laughed and thought Dream on, Abi!

I laughed until he lunged and the bird was gone.

Victorious, Abi sauntered off with his prize. The hummingbird’s tail and beak barely protruded past his sharp teeth. 

I bolted to the rescue. 

Using my “Aren’t you a good cat” voice, I coaxed him towards me and held out my hand — as if he’d just surrender the bird to me.

[Read more…]

Monday Music ~ 3 Truths To Remember In the EYE OF THE STORM

Always remember, God is always in control. Watch Ryan Stevenson's music video Eye of the Storm as part of our "Storm Training."

The Eye of the Storm

Ah, the eye of the storm.

That happy, calm place after Armageddon seems to have broken loose and before it’s about to get all crazy again.

A storm may have knocked us upside down for the moment, and we’re thinking “ain’t nobody got time for that.” But God hasn’t been knocked anywhere, especially off His throne.

If you’re feeling all alone in the eye of a storm, remember these three truths:

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A Storm is Coming: What You Absolutely Need to Know Before Your World Explodes (Training – Part 1)

A Storm's Coming: What You Absolutely Need to Know Before Your World Explodes. People Don't Rise to the Occasion. They Fall Back on Their Training. via www.JeanWilund.comA Storm’s Coming

The TV reporter announced: Tornado Warning.

Panic ricocheted through my body.

Wait! Which is worse? Tornado Warning or Tornado Watch?

Is it, “WARNING! There’s a tornado in your area?”

Or is it, “Take cover! We’re WATCHING a tornado in your area?”

I can’t remember!

Do I wake the babies now and hide in the closet or should I wait a little longer?

Can I drag a mattress into the closet with two babies and a toddler in my arms?

Larry was at work, and I was taking care of a friend’s baby as well as my two young kids.

My thoughts scrambled in the tornado of emotions. Fear paralyzed my ability to respond well.

Panic was all I could see.

The Storm Inside

Years later, a close friend of mine was abused.

Rage ripped through me as I faced her abuser.

A storm had hit, and it was inside me. Anger paralyzed my ability to respond correctly.

Revenge was all I could see.

What You Absolutely Need to Know Before Your World Explodes

If you have a pulse, a storm is headed your way. And I don’t just mean Hurricane Matthew.

If we can’t stop it, we have two other options: Fly through it or over it. 

We can fly through it and deal with the damage afterward. Or we can fly above the storm by understanding this principle:

People don’t rise to the occasion.

They fall back to the level of their training.

Let that sink in.

People don’t rise to the occasion. They fall back to the level of their training. Click To Tweet

I learned that from a security specialist recently who adapted it from a quote by an ancient Greek soldier. 

Research shows that when our blood pressure rises, our heart rate shoots up. As our heart rate increases, our ability to think with clarity decreases.

Once our heart rate reaches a certain level, neural connections leading to the cerebellum do their thing — or don’t do it — and we become paralyzed. 

This helps explain why mass shootings are able to occur even when there’s many capable men and women around and only one gunman.

jackie-chanWe may hallucinate, I mean imagine, that we’d rush the gunman and knock him out Jackie Chan style. But in truth,we wouldn’t rise to the occasion, we’d fall back on our training.

I’m afraid my training includes more fainting than Jackie Chan.

Policemen, firemen, FBI agents, soldiers, spies, black belts, cage fighters etc. tend to jump in.

Did they rise to the occasion?

Not really. They merely fell back on their training — their excellent training. 

They’re able to remain calm and think clearly because they’ve been trained to control their emotions in the midst of a fight.

Despite our best intentions, we don’t rise to the occasion. We fall back on our training. 

A Storm's Coming: What You Absolutely Need to Know Before Your World Explodes. People Don't Rise to the Occasion. They Fall Back to the level of their training. via www.JeanWilund.comThis raises some questions.

What type of training do we need and how do we get it?

Is this only true for physical storms and battles?

What about spiritual ones?

We’ll look at those answers tomorrow. [Read more…]

Hail to the Chief! Oh My! (How Not to Dread This Political Season)

Psalm 52:6 - But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

 

I always dread this season.

Not the fall season or football season. I love those.

I dread the political season.

We get to see the worst in people and then elect one of them to become our nation’s leader.

Hail to the Chief! Whoopee!

But it’s not all bad news.

When all is said and done, God is the one who chooses our president, because He’s the real Chief. And we can trust Him completely.

Even as this 2016 election season gets more insane, we can trust in the steadfast love of God forever.

We can be like a green olive tree.

I realize being compared to an olive tree isn’t necessarily the clearest of comforts if you’re like me and have lived with oak trees and Bradford pears, but never with olive trees.

Let me explain:

I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.

Olive trees live a long time. Some over 2,000 years.

They withstand drought and storms well, unlike the sensitive, fragile Bradford pear trees.

Bradford pears can’t handle much. They crack and fall under pressure. 

America needs to stop acting like a Bradford pear and get back to being an olive tree. 

But it’ll only happen when we get back to following Christ as a nation.

I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

Infinitely stronger than any olive tree, God’s love lasts forever.

No matter how crazy our world gets, or if America ever turns back to Christ or not, God never changes.

Remember that during this changing, bizarro political season.

~ Psalm 52:8

 

God doesn’t always choose a president who follows Him, but He always chooses the one that fits His purposes.

Sometimes God determines we need a president who inspires us to become a greater nation.

Other times we need a president who shakes us up and makes us realize how far we’ve fallen from pursuing and loving God.

This season we apparently need more than just a regular shake up. Oh my!

I know America needs to turn back to God, but I don’t have a clue how to make that happen.

But God does. And He can, and He will, if that’s His plan.

Unfortunately, we don’t know if that’s His plan. He left it out of the Bible.

No matter. God’s made it clear we simply need to pray, trust, and follow Him–the One who knows it all.

He’s not worried or scrambling. He’s calmly working for our good and His glory.

We might need a microscope to see it in our country right now, but when He’s got all the players and pieces in place, the world will see and know that there’s a God in heaven, and He loves us with an everlasting love.

The political season will never be my favorite season, but we don’t have to dread it when we remember who really runs our country and our world.

Hail to the real Chief–our Almighty, All-knowing, and All-loving God!

AMEN!


Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings; [and presidents] . . .”
~ Daniel 2:20-21 NASB

Hail to the Chief! Oh My! (How Not to Dread This Political Season) #Elections #GodIsSovereign Click To Tweet

[Read more…]

When Pain Is Like a Flower, Truth Makes Hope Bloom

When Pain is Like a Flower, Truth Makes Hope Bloom by Mekeishakay via www.JeanWilund.comEver met someone you’d like to have follow you around and talk for you?

All you’d have to say was, “Yeah. What she said!”

Blogger–and my new friend–Mekeisha has a way of explaining truth that leaves me staring at her dumbly.

When people stare at me like that, they’re trying to figure out what I’m babbling about.

People stare at Mekeisha because they’re mesmerized.

I want to grow up to be just like her.

I asked Mekeisha if I could rip a post off her blog and share it with you. She said, Sure – go for it!

I chose When Pain is Like a Flower because when she read it to my roommate Bethany and I at a recent speakers conference (Christian Communicators Conference–shameless plug), Bethany and I just stared, stunned.

I wish you could’ve been there. It would’ve been crowded in our hotel room, but you would’ve loved listening to her.

After you read Mekeisha’s post, go onto her blog (the link is at the bottom of this post) and leave her a comment, requesting she start streaming live readings.

Thanks! and Enjoy . . .  [Read more…]

Which to Choose: Football or Bonsai Gardening? – Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football

Fret over your football team so much you'd consider giving it up for bonsai gardening? You don't have to! Be conformed to Christ through football instead. via www.JeanWilund.comThis may be the year.

College Football has officially kicked off, and this may be the year that

. . . I rejoice whether my team wins or loses,

. . . I can watch an entire game without fretting,

. . . and I jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

Yes, I know. The last one is more likely to happen than the first two.

And the last one ain’t happening.

But it could.

And that’s what matters.

It could happen because God is in the business of transforming lives.

And that’s why I don’t have to give up football and take up bonsai gardening instead.

Last year I declared in my post I Can’t Watch! — Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football that this fretful football fan would change.

And I did.

Two years ago, I couldn’t watch my Tigers play the big games. I watched movies at the theater instead.

Last year, I watched every game. Not every second of every game, but every game.

Progress. I scored a touchdown.

But I confess, I haven’t won the game. Yet.

I’m still a football-fretter. But the game’s not over.

Crockpot Growth.

Spiritual growth sometimes happens in microwave fast spurts.

But usually it simmers to maturity like a crockpot.

Not being able to handle a football game is a spiritual matter. Read more about it here in that post I told you about before.

Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football.

I haven’t given up my goal to be transformed into a relaxed football fan, content and peaceful no matter the outcome.

But there will be times this season when that resolve will be tested, and I may consider giving up football to take up bonsai gardening.

What battle are you waging?

Is your battle as silly as mine over fretting about football?

Or is it serious? The kind that should send you down to your knees, like fear over your child’s cancer diagnosis or arrest?

Or do you struggle with issues that send those who live with you down to their knees, like fits of anger or bitterness?

No matter what you’re facing, it’s not too silly or too serious for God.

Never Give Up

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:57 ESV).

Whether we’re facing a goal-line on the football field or a drip-line in the ER, we can keep our eyes fixed on Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 NASB).

God won’t just give us strength. He is our strength.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 ESV).

Just Imagine

bonsai-316573_640Imagine what our life would be like tomorrow if we woke up, fixated on our all-powerful, loving God instead of our struggles.

We could facing losing a game without losing our joy or having to take up bonsai gardening.

We’d read the sports headlines and front page headlines without being consumed with worry.

We’d carry peace instead of burdens.

God is waiting to do this work in our hearts today. It starts with believing Him and His Word and walking in the truth we know.

This May Be The Year

This may be the year the Clemson Tigers win the National Championship.

Oh so close last year.

But even better, this may be the year we win the battle in our minds.

What victory will you enjoy this year?

Go For It!

And Go Tigers!

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My Lighthouse: Because a Stubby Nightlight Just Won’t Do

Seriously? We need a lighthouse not a nightlight! John 8.12 & My Lighthouse by Rend Collective via www.JeanWilund.com

 

Lighthouse or Nightlight?


I just spent a fabulous week in Cape Cod. So much beauty.

But seriously?

Some of their lighthouses are so stubby they seem more like a nightlight than a lighthouse.

My husband laughed and said it’s as if their lighthouses are barely whispering, “We’re over here.”

If I’m sailing in troubled seas, a stubby nightlight just won’t do.

A Drowning Woman


Early one morning, while Jesus taught in the Temple, t
he Pharisees and Scribes tossed a drowning woman at Jesus’ feet.

They’d caught her swimming in someone else’s waters, and now she was treading in a sea of trouble. 

Like a puny nightlight that can’t even protect our toes in the dark, the leaders revealed only partial truth. They reminded Jesus that the Law commanded anyone caught in adultery be stoned.  

Actually, they told Him, “Moses commanded us to stone such women.” They twisted the truth and spared the guilty man.

 

SOS: Stoning Or Salvation


After Jesus heard the woman’s accusers, He stooped down and wrote in the dirt.

Unimpressed, or maybe confused, the accusers pressed Jesus to condemn the woman. 

Jesus simply straightened up like a towering Lighthouse and said:

“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Grace, love, and truth screamed through the darkness and offered salvation.

Then Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dirt again.

What did He write?

Scripture? 

The names of women these leaders would recognize in an incriminating way?

Who knows? But the impact can’t be missed.

One by one the leaders slithered off. 

The older men probably had more stone-able secrets they wished to keep hidden, so they scuttled off first. 

Flip Flopped


After Jesus spelled it out for them, their anticipated judgment flip flopped. 

The “righteous” men saw the Light and walked off, judged by their sins

The guilty woman saw the same Light and remained, saved from her sins.

Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

The men could’ve fallen at Jesus’ feet and received the same salvation she did.

Instead, they preferred to slip off and drown in judgment rather than bow to Christ.

Safe To Shore


Jesus didn’t tell the guilty woman, “Go, and sin no more” and then He’d bring her safe to shore.

Nope. He gave her a full pardon upfront.

My Lighthouse Child Holds a LighthouseI’ve tread in many a troubled seas.

Sometimes I never saw the craggy cliff. Blind or careless, I slipped and fell off.

Other times I dove off headfirst.

And still other times, I was pushed.

It doesn’t matter how we got into trouble.

Jesus is a towering Lighthouse of salvation for all — the blind, the careless, the victim, and, yes, even the culprit.

Then Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the Light of life
(John 8:12, NASB).

We all make it safe to shore, free of guilt, if we look to Christ — our Lighthouse — and follow Him.

My Lighthouse by Rend Collective


As I read John 8:1-12, I couldn’t help but think of Rend Collective’s song My Lighthouse

I’ve featured Rend Collective before, but If you’re not familiar with this fun Irish band, I’m thrilled to introduce you to them.

They present God’s life-changing truth in their own quirky style.

Enjoy: [Read more…]

Do Not Fear. All Is Not Lost. ARISE (by Russell & Kristi)

Do not fear. All is not lost. Christ is the champion of lost causes. Watch the music video Arise by Russell and Kristi and find hope via www.JeanWilund.com

I get it. Really, I do.

We look at the headlines and throw our hands up in frustration. What’s this world coming to?!

Do not fear. All is not lost.

Go ahead. Throw your hands up, but not in disgust or despair.

Throw them up in praise because Christ is the champion of lost causes.

Consider this: Christ was dead. He was in-the-grave-wrapped-in-linen-sealed-with-a-stone dead.

But all was not lost.

He rose from the dead, left his grave clothes behind, and walked out of the open tomb.

All was not lost.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. ~ Matthew 28:5-6

The resurrection changed everything. It’s still changing everything today.

All is not lost.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us.

Arise.

Arise in resurrection power and overcome your doubts and fears.

Arise in resurrection power and overcome your anger and hate.

Arise in resurrection power and overcome your bondage to sin and shame. 

Arise.

All is not lost.

We’ll still walk through trials. We might even face some we can’t imagine surviving. 

Apart from Christ, we have only whatever strength, peace, and joy we can manage to muster.

Apart from Christ, all is lost.

With Christ, His strength, peace, and joy fill us.

When we abide in Him, all of who He is spills out so we can rise up in power and live — really live.

Even if we can’t physically rise up, our souls aren’t held back. 

Arise and be encouraged. And listen to Russell and Kristi share this message through their song, Arise. [Read more…]